Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Muffins

It’s entirely possible that baking a giant quiche with a homemade crust isn’t something that fits into your plans for the week. It’s also entirely possible that you just don’t like quiche very much, and, if presented, with the opportunity to plan your own ideal Galentines Day brunch, the table would be laden not with eggs or pancakes or waffles but with baked goods. Not the vaguely virtuous, whole-wheat-and-fruit concoctions that are a staple of quick weekday breakfasts, but properly indulgent baked goods. Warm pains au chocolat, toasted brioche with butter, sticky cinnamon rolls, and coffee cake. Above all, coffee cake.


My favorite coffee cake is a recipe from the Smitten Kitchen, with cinnamon sugar and chocolate chips running through the middle. On any other day, it’s totally worth the fuss of separating eggs and creaming butter, but sometimes you want the coffee cake without the 50 minute baking time.


These muffins are my middle ground: closer to cake than quickbread with the help of vanilla and an extra egg yolk, and topped with a big crumb streusel that puts a basic muffin batter over the top. The whole thing comes together in about half an hour, baking time included, and the muffins are still perfect on the second day. (They would also, I imagine, be dangerously habit-forming with chocolate chips throughout, and doubly so if you maybe added toasted chopped pecans.)


You probably have all the ingredients for this in your kitchen right now. Make some. Tomorrow-morning-you will thank you.


Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Muffins

Cinnamon Streusel
12 cup all-purpose flour
14 teaspoon table salt
12 teaspoon ground cinnamon
14 teaspoon table salt
14 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons cold water

112 cups all-purpose flour
112 teaspoons baking powder
12 teaspoon baking soda
12 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
14 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
34 cup whole milk yogurt (lowfat is fine, nonfat is not)
14 cup whole milk (2% or semi-skimmed is fine, but no skim milk)
12 cup brown sugar, tightly packed

  1. Make the streusel: whisk together all the dry ingredients for the streusel as well as the brown sugar, making sure everything is evenly combined. Rub in the cold butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then drizzle over the cold water and stir with a fork to make sure there are no dry patches. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C). Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until evenly combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, yogurt, and whole milk just until everything is evenly combined. Switch to a spatula or wooden spoon and stir in the brown sugar, making sure there are no lumps.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined. There should be no large lumps or patches of flour, but don’t work the batter too far past this point.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter into the wells of the muffin tin, filling them a little over halfway (for me this was about a heaped tablespoon and a half, but you can use an ice cream scoop to make it easier.)
  7. Take the streusel out of the fridge and stir with a fork to break up any large chunks. Top each muffin with about a heaped teaspoon of the streusel mix and gently press it into the batter to help it adhere.
  8. Bake the muffins at 400° F (200° C) for 20-22 minutes, rotating the pan after 15 minutes to ensure that everything browns properly.
  9. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes in the pan before moving them to a plate or wire cooling rack. (But eat at least one while it’s still warm. No one has to know that there were originally twelve.)

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